Why doesn't my laptop like projectors?
August 7, 2008 7:27 AM   Subscribe

What causes my laptop to freak out whenever I plug in a projector?

I have a Toshiba Satellite P205-S667 laptop. It's running Windows Vista Home Premium. It uses the Mobile Intel 945 Express Chipset Family graphics driver.

On several occasions, my computer has completely freaked out if I hook it up to a projector. It starts by dropping the projector signal (last night, it was happening every few minutes), and then eventually progresses to completely freezing the computer, to the point that I have to press and hold the power button to turn it off to restart.

And then things get really fun. Sometimes it will restart fine, and then work for a few minutes before freaking out again. But others, Windows will refuse to boot up at all and take me into first the Startup Restore utility, and then System Restore.

This isn't specific to a single projector or even projector brand - it happened last night while using a very old InFocus, but it also occurred once while I was using a newish Dell projector and at least once on a Samsung.

I have checked to be sure that the graphics card driver is up-to-date. I tried turning off the Vista-esque features, such as the Sidebar and Aero. I've manually reset the screen resolution to match that of the projector. Last night, I even tried resetting the Theme to Windows Classic, but nothing seems to work.

Unfortunately, running my laptop with a projector is an important part of my job, so I really need help to figure out what's causing the problem and how I might fix it.
posted by robhuddles to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Did you check to see if there is a BIOS update for your laptop?
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:49 AM on August 7, 2008

Can it drive an external monitor without problems?
posted by DarkForest at 9:12 AM on August 7, 2008

Hardware or software issue? Check using a bootable OS CD (Ubuntu Live CD, for example). If you still get crazy things happening when running the projector, then it isn't a Vista issue, it's a hardware thing. If everything works fine, you can assume that it isn't a hardware problem.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:48 AM on August 7, 2008

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